What is the meaning of 'source' in regards to bonus stacking?


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Grand Lodge

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Ravingdork wrote:
Perhaps this will help? All those old articles got moved into their site archive, an archive I was lucky enough to find again about a year ago. Lucky for you, I thought to record its new location.

Yeah, that's where I looked through and only found the "Does it stack?" series of articles as ones that even came close to discussing this topic.


Ravingdork wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, this thread is evidence enough that the new FAQ rule (and it IS a new rule) is quite confusing to the average roleplayer.

Agreed, on both points. I'm pretty savvy, and I can barely untangle that mess.


While I was on the side of the argument that thought the majority of these double-dips ought to work, I can't see what's so complicated about this FAQ.

1: Does an ability give you a typed bonus to something (like Arcane Accuracy, which grants an Insight bonus)? Then it stacks normally as any other bonus of that type.

2: Is it applying one of your ability modifiers to something? Then it doesn't stack with any other abilities that also apply that ability modifier to the same thing.

That's it. Done. No step 3. The only confusion is that which is being created by people who want to get the ruling reversed because they don't like it.


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ZanThrax wrote:

While I was on the side of the argument that thought the majority of these double-dips ought to work, I can't see what's so complicated about this FAQ.

1: Does an ability give you a typed bonus to something (like Arcane Accuracy, which grants an Insight bonus)? Then it stacks normally as any other bonus of that type.

2: Is it applying one of your ability modifiers to something? Then it doesn't stack with any other abilities that also apply that ability modifier to the same thing.

That's it. Done. No step 3. The only confusion is that which is being created by people who want to get the ruling reversed because they don't like it.

3) Source is no longer just the class ability, racial ability, spell or feat that granted the ability; now it is the granting ability and something else. We know that ability scores are suddenly one of those something elses, but we can no longer be sure that the other abilities do not have a secondary source too.

If they had just said that double dipping is a no no then there would have been some grumbling but no confusion (like with Crane Wing). But no, the PDT had to come up with some convoluted justification to say that plain English was wrong.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I find these "if you disagree with this FAQ, you are stupid, and/or a munchkin cheating jerk" comments deeply hurtful, and absolutely do not belong here.

Seriously, get off the damn high horse, and quit being a dick.

This kind of behavior is a cancer to the boards, and by god, you should feel deeply ashamed.

Anger, and frustration, are understandable, but don't you dare attack other fans of Pathfinder in such a deplorable manner.


ZanThrax wrote:

While I was on the side of the argument that thought the majority of these double-dips ought to work, I can't see what's so complicated about this FAQ.

1: Does an ability give you a typed bonus to something (like Arcane Accuracy, which grants an Insight bonus)? Then it stacks normally as any other bonus of that type.

2: Is it applying one of your ability modifiers to something? Then it doesn't stack with any other abilities that also apply that ability modifier to the same thing.

That's it. Done. No step 3. The only confusion is that which is being created by people who want to get the ruling reversed because they don't like it.

The problem is the collateral damage it causes to other abilities. Like now some are not sure anymore whether flurry of blows works with dragon ferocity. And dragon ferocity had to be reworded because of this FAQ. So it IS causing problems.

Dark Archive

My Graveknight Antipaladin's Fortitude Save decreased by 7. It's worse than his Will Save now.


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You're face is worse than his will save! See what I did there? It's clever, because I took your words and threw them right back atcha! Oooh yeah! Oh, the summoner, cra-


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It broke Dragon Ferocity and Tiger Claws. And they've already been fixed. Every other specific example that has been given was confirmed to be intended. (Except the Undead Antipaladin, which I suspect wasn't considered worth worrying about since it's a pretty small corner case of a specific type of enemy having one save reduced.) If people are becoming unsure about if certain other things work or not, it's because there are posters in here screaming that the world is ending, posters in here extrapolating their (deliberately?) confused mis-reading of the FAQ into saying that if bonuses from ability scores can't stack, then maybe levels or hd or who-knows-what doesn't stack either, and posters trying to start flame wars and then calling out the people suggesting that everyone calm down as being cancerous dicks that are destroying Pathfinder and attacking people.

As for Dragon Style / Ferocity working with Flurry; of course it does.

Flurry says that you apply your Strength modifier, regardless of how many hands you use. Then you take a feat that specifically says that your first unarmed attack in the round does 1 1/2 times your Strength modifier instead. Then you take another feat that specifically says that you increase your damage by an extra 1/2 times your Strength modifier, to a total of 2x your Strength modifier on the first attack and 1 1/2 times your Strength modifier on the rest. Specific overrides general, and there's nothing about any of that that the FAQ changes.

The FAQs not causing problems (with people understanding how things work), several pages of posts of noise muddying the issue is causing those problems.


Link to tiger/dragon fix please? I can never find anything in the FAQs

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You know, the hands over the ears "NAH NAH NAH NAH, no problems exist!" posts are also kind of annoying.

Just because you like the FAQ, and don't like the idea of it creating any problems, doesn't mean they don't exist.

Dark Archive

Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Link to tiger/dragon fix please? I can never find anything in the FAQs

Link

Although I wouldn't call it a fix, considering it creates other problems.


EDIT: to ZanThrax

Actually, a nymph oracle has also been mentioned (by me, not that anyone reads my ludicrously long posts ;p). If I had access to a bestiary or PC with which to run a search, I may come up with more exceptions.

The FAQ is causing problems with expectations and understandings of the underlying elements of the game system and the interactions of abilities. There are also elements of the conversation that are questioning the nature of bonus v. Increase, and others still that are asking about unspecified elements based on the fact, and others just insultingly griping about it, and others uncertain of it's meanings due to presuppositions based on common readings v. technical readings of the words. I can see how you might conflate the various different misunderstandings, especially as many are quite vocal or passionate about it, but they are, in fact, different misunderstandings (or dislikes).


blackbloodtroll wrote:

You know, the hands over the ears "NAH NAH NAH NAH, no problems exist!" posts are also kind of annoying.

Just because you like the FAQ, and don't like the idea of it creating any problems, doesn't mean they don't exist.

As I said a couple posts back bbt, I don't like the FAQ. I was quite surprised by it, having been fully on-board with the people who had layed out a solid arguments that abilities that added X to Y and those that replaced the standard bonus to Y with X should stack just fine. I would have been much happier for it go the other way, because I like trying to build SAD characters.

There have even been a couple of problems (well, three, counting the undead antipaladins, assuming that PDT didn't intend that one) that have been pointed out. But instead of pointing out specific things that are affected by the ruling, this thread almost immediately descended into a cacophony of alarmism, general caterwauling, and back and forth flaming. It's a big part of why I didn't bother going back to my posts listing things that this ruling affects.


Tacticslion wrote:
Actually, a nymph oracle has also been mentioned (by me, not that anyone reads my ludicrously long posts ;p). If I had access to a bestiary or PC with which to run a search, I may come up with more exceptions.

What's the issue with a Nymph Oracle?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, how are we to handle the "replace + add" abilities?

For example:

You have an ability that replaces charisma, with wisdom, for Diplomacy, and you have an ability, that adds your wisdom modifier, to Diplomacy.

Do you no longer use wisdom for the base modifier, and instead use charisma?

Do you no longer add your wisdom modifier as a bonus, but still use wisdom for the base modifier?


EDIT: Again, to ZanThrax; this thread is hopping too quickly. I'll catch up tomorrow. :)

Those were good posts, by the way. Thanks for them!


ZanThrax wrote:
(Except the Undead Antipaladin, which I suspect wasn't considered worth worrying about since it's a pretty small corner case of a specific type of enemy having one save reduced.)

The Graveknight Antipaladin in the Way of the Wicked game I'm playing probably considers that small comfort.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Do you no longer use wisdom for the base modifier, and instead use charisma?

Do you no longer add your wisdom modifier as a bonus, but still use wisdom for the base modifier?

It depends on if the second Wisdom bonus is given a type, or if it is left untyped.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Do you no longer use wisdom for the base modifier, and instead use charisma?

Do you no longer add your wisdom modifier as a bonus, but still use wisdom for the base modifier?

It depends on if the second Wisdom bonus is given a type, or if it is left untyped.

Untyped.

Dark Archive

Rynjin wrote:
ZanThrax wrote:
(Except the Undead Antipaladin, which I suspect wasn't considered worth worrying about since it's a pretty small corner case of a specific type of enemy having one save reduced.)
The Graveknight Antipaladin in the Way of the Wicked game I'm playing probably considers that small comfort.

To be fair, Graveknight Antipaladins are immune to most things that require fortitude saves.


Unearthly Grace
Nature Oracle.
(Or antipaladin. Or Lore Oracle.)

Does ghost work?

ghost?

Last one tonight!

EDIT: I lied: nope, a Nymph ghost overlaps the AC bonus.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Untyped.

Then no, they wouldn't stack.


You use wisdom once as they don't stack, and near as I can tell all those abilities are compulsory (not 'may use').

Some archetypes and domains combinations are bad.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Untyped.
Then no, they wouldn't stack.

I wasn't asking if they stacked, but which would take precedence.

How is it calculated?


It's pretty clear from the FAQ itself that if you replace Charisma with Wisdom, that you don't get to then add Wisdom as well. And if reading the FAQ wasn't clear, then the posts directly after the FAQ where I listed several such combinations for Inquisitor that would definitely not stack under the new ruling and Mark's follow up two posts later that said that that was both correct and intended most certainly are. And since you had the post in between, I assume you know full well that the question you just posted has been asked & answered within hours of the FAQ originally being posted.

But maybe you were too busy making posts that decry the FAQ as having made Inquisitors unplayable by having one archetype (out of sixteen Paizo-published archetypes) that doesn't work well with two Inquisitions (of out 32 Inquisitions, 52 Domains, and 100 Subdomains) and a second archetype (out of 17 options, if you count not taking any archetype at all) that doesn't work with three Inquisitions?

blackbloodtroll wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Untyped.
Then no, they wouldn't stack.

I wasn't asking if they stacked, but which would take precedence.

How is it calculated?

What possible difference does it make? Your Wisdom bonus is always your Wisdom bonus, regardless of which ability is adding it to your skill modifier.

Rynjin wrote:
ZanThrax wrote:
(Except the Undead Antipaladin, which I suspect wasn't considered worth worrying about since it's a pretty small corner case of a specific type of enemy having one save reduced.)
The Graveknight Antipaladin in the Way of the Wicked game I'm playing probably considers that small comfort.

Fair enough. I didn't know that Undead Antipaladin PCs were a thing that people played. I expect that it will get addressed at some point soon, assuming that Mark hasn't entirely given up on the boards for the time being.


Tacticslion wrote:

Unearthly Grace

Nature Oracle.
(Or antipaladin. Or Lore Oracle.)

Does ghost work?

ghost?

Last one tonight!

EDIT: I lied: nope, a Nymph ghost overlaps the AC bonus.

Unearthly Grace gives a Racial bonus to saves, and a Deflection bonus to AC.

I assume you're wondering if it stacks with Oracle revelations that replace Dexterity to AC with Charisma to AC? And the Divine Protection feat? Since those are all untyped bonuses, they'll stack with the Unearthly Grace bonuses just fine.

A ghost Nymph though, will only get the Deflection bonus to AC once. This has not been affected by this FAQ however, as two typed bonuses to the same thing have never stacked.


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ZanThrax wrote:

Rynjin wrote:
ZanThrax wrote:
(Except the Undead Antipaladin, which I suspect wasn't considered worth worrying about since it's a pretty small corner case of a specific type of enemy having one save reduced.)
The Graveknight he Graveknight Antipaladin in the Way of the Wicked game I'm playing probably considers that small comfort.
Fair enough. I didn't know that Undead Antipaladin PCs were a thing that people played. I expect that it will get addressed at some point soon, assuming that Mark hasn't entirely given up on the boards for the time being.

It's also baffling that the singular Antipaladin archetype gets as its capstone reward, greatly reduced Fortitude saves.

Jadeite wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
ZanThrax wrote:
(Except the Undead Antipaladin, which I suspect wasn't considered worth worrying about since it's a pretty small corner case of a specific type of enemy having one save reduced.)
The Graveknight Antipaladin in the Way of the Wicked game I'm playing probably considers that small comfort.
To be fair, Graveknight Antipaladins are immune to most things that require fortitude saves.

But the ones they aren't are doozies.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
ZanThrax wrote:

It's pretty clear from the FAQ itself that if you replace Charisma with Wisdom, that you don't get to then add Wisdom as well. And if reading the FAQ wasn't clear, then the posts directly after the FAQ where I listed several such combinations for Inquisitor that would definitely not stack under the new ruling and Mark's follow up two posts later that said that that was both correct and intended most certainly are. And since you had the post in between, I assume you know full well that the question you just posted has been asked & answered within hours of the FAQ originally being posted.

But maybe you were too busy making posts that decry the FAQ as having made Inquisitors unplayable by having one archetype (out of sixteen Paizo-published archetypes) that doesn't work well with two Inquisitions (of out 32 Inquisitions, 52 Domains, and 100 Subdomains) and a second archetype (out of 17 options, if you count not taking any archetype at all) that doesn't work with three Inquisitions?

blackbloodtroll wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Untyped.
Then no, they wouldn't stack.

I wasn't asking if they stacked, but which would take precedence.

How is it calculated?

What possible difference does it make? Your Wisdom bonus is always your Wisdom bonus, regardless of which ability is adding it to your skill modifier.

If it used charisma as the base modifier, with a bonus equal to your wisdom modifier, it could be lower, as you may have a penalty to charisma.

So, precedence of the abilities, is important.

Also, no need to be condescending.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

If it used charisma as the base modifier, with a bonus equal to your wisdom modifier, it could be lower, as you may have a penalty to charisma.

So, precedence of the abilities, is important.

If you replace charisma with wisdom. Then you use your wisdom instead of charisma for that skill. And if you get to add your wisdom as a bonus to that skill, ignore the wisdom bonus, as it is the same source and can't be used twice in figuring out your skill.

So again, if you replace cha for wis, you never check the cha for that skill. it wouldn't matter if you had a -5 or +10 to cha, you replaced it and it is gone. Also adding wisdom to that now wisdom skill is ignored.

is this clear for you now?


Clear, but looking less and less like a good Errata the more I look at what's affected.

Does anyone have an example of something that was actually broken by the way it worked before?


Broken, as in didn't function? I don't think so. Broken, as in was considered overpowered? Maybe Sacred Fist Wis to AC + Monk Wis to AC. I'd certainly bet on that being the combo that PDT didn't want to have to say was legal. Student of War + Kensai or Duellist was already getting double Int to AC though, although that combo replaced Dex where the SF/Monk combo doesn't. Beyond that, the only significant stacking going on was double dipping Wisdom or Int some skills, and I doubt that was really all that overpowered.

Ruling the other way would certainly have been simpler, but presumably the dev team felt that the balance value of discouraging (non-wizard) SAD builds was worth the headache of coming up with a FAQ that disallowed double dipping without having to make any CRB text changes to make ability modifiers explicit bonus types.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:


If you replace charisma with wisdom. Then you use your wisdom instead of charisma for that skill. And if you get to add your wisdom as a bonus to that skill, ignore the wisdom bonus, as it is the same source and can't be used twice in figuring out your skill.

So again, if you replace cha for wis, you never check the cha for that skill. it wouldn't matter if you had a -5 or +10 to cha, you replaced it and it is gone. Also adding wisdom to that now wisdom skill is ignored.

is this clear for you now?

Okay, so, in the case of having these two abilities, the replacement, takes precedence.

I don't see that in the FAQ, but I would hope it works that way.


ZanThrax wrote:
Broken, as in didn't function? I don't think so. Broken, as in was considered overpowered?

Broken isn't very well defined! Its like Wield, it can mean anything!


I'm still waiting for a definition of wield myself.


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Rynjin wrote:
I'm still waiting for a definition of wield myself.

Its been like 4+ years.....we need to accept that ship has sailed. It would likely cause worse problems than this FAQ did regardless of what they choose. I think that one may be better left in ambiguous land and taken on a case by case basis, even in organized play (which I do participate in).

I remember one thread I was in a while back and we found wield had been used at least 4 different ways:)


Might have been the one I posted about 6 months ago.

Dark Archive

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Does anyone really think that doubledipping is more powerful than spells like Blindness/Deafness or Slow?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It is not the favor/disfavor of "double-dipping", but the idea of a bonus having multiple sources, and sources being defined by the bonus type they provide.

Most of us can easily move past the idea that "double-dipping" is no longer a thing, but now we have a rules change, that is confusing to many, and despised by others.

Just to repeat, having bonuses with multiple sources, and sources being determined by the type of bonus they provide is a rules change.

Outside of this FAQ, I see nothing in RAW that ever suggested these two rules existing.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:


If you replace charisma with wisdom. Then you use your wisdom instead of charisma for that skill. And if you get to add your wisdom as a bonus to that skill, ignore the wisdom bonus, as it is the same source and can't be used twice in figuring out your skill.

So again, if you replace cha for wis, you never check the cha for that skill. it wouldn't matter if you had a -5 or +10 to cha, you replaced it and it is gone. Also adding wisdom to that now wisdom skill is ignored.

is this clear for you now?

Okay, so, in the case of having these two abilities, the replacement, takes precedence.

I don't see that in the FAQ, but I would hope it works that way.

Replacement always took precedence, this FAQ didn't change that, all it changed was that if you try to add a bonus of the same stat as already being used then it doesn't stack.


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I initially found that thread interesting, with both sides of the debate pushing their ideas forward, some more expansively than others. And then, I found the FAQ entry. I refrained from commenting just then, and continued reading. Found a couple posts gloating, others complaining. After reading most of the topic-related posts here, I still don't understand.

Until now, when I read "add X to Y", I add X to Y. No mention of bonus, type, stackability, etc. If my character had to invest in class levels and/or feats in order to gain another instance of "add X to Y", the investment was important enough for the bonus gained. Having a ruling that makes a feat detrimental to the character means that the ruling or the feat must go.

The Fury's Fall "ruling" has initially been made as an advice, not a rule. However, it was JJ's advice. Since then, some people have played this way, some of them appreciated it, and some of them thought that it was a core aspect of the rules. It is not. But they've been quite vocal.

Having a blanket FAQ saying the same for the whole game makes it less appealing. I don't understand why they would make the game less enjoyable, especially for their most hardcore customers (you know them, they have every rule book on their shelves, and are the ones most prone to mix abilities from several sources). And it also doesn't sit well with new players since it complicates things (you now have to search for primary sources and secondary sources).

On a side note, I initially played AD&D2. When 3rd Edition came around (with bonus typing and stackability rules), I remember thinking that it screwed some builds. But that was a whole new edition, not a FAQ.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Will there be other instances of multiple sources for a single bonus?

Is this FAQ meant to be an exception to both how to determine a source, and the stacking of untyped bonuses?

Shadow Lodge

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OldSkoolRPG wrote:


While BigNorseWolf is being his usual rude and insulting self he does have a valid point. Even if there were tons of builds that used double dipping the debate over whether it is valid has been raging for years. Its not like it was a completely unquestioned practice and just suddenly the design team one day woke up and decided to change it.

Actually, if you read through most of those on the PF site, its usually BNW and a small grip of others saying no, because everyone else is a munchkin.

On the 3E CharOp boards, the arguement was never over if they could stack, but rather if the specific instances would stack based on the bonus types or the sources, and methods to achieve prereqs for it. Source has always referred to the specific spell, feat, class/racial ability, not the some undefined broad category. So two Enhancement bonuses to the same thing (Type) would not stack, but two castings of Bull's Strength (Source) would also not normally stack, regardless of if that specific source gave the same or different bonus type. The exception was if a Source could give multiple different choices, like with Bestow Curse, if they picked different options each time, they would stack, because all of them would affect the target at the same time.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I feel I must give an example how this creates confusion:

A PC has an ability that notes "you gain a Dodge Bonus equal to your Dexterity Modifier".

This PC also has a feat, that notes "you gain a Dodge Bonus equal to your Dexterity Modifier".

Now, you have two abilities, that give the same type of Bonus, and the value of said Bonus, is determined by the same ability score.

These are considered to be two different sources, as the ability/feat is the source, and they provide a type of Bonus noted to stack.

Now, the same PC has an ability that notes "you gain a Bonus equal to your Dexterity Modifier".

This PC also has a feat that notes "you gain a Bonus equal to your Dexterity Modifier".

These are both untyped bonuses, and untyped bonuses are noted to stack.

Now, in this case, we no longer consider the ability/feat the source, but both the ability/feat, and the ability score.

Before, we would assume that both cases should be treated the same, and that is a reasonable, logical, conclusion.

This has now changed.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Blackbloodtroll: So untyped bonuses don't have a primary source anymore???


Good catch on the "racial" bonus language! Missed it. Thanks!


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Will there be other instances of multiple sources for a single bonus?

Is this FAQ meant to be an exception to both how to determine a source, and the stacking of untyped bonuses?

Well when I asked if level was a source too, Mark replied this on page 10 of this thread(bold is mine):

Mark Seifter wrote:
Also, to everyone looking at "level as a source" and the swashbuckler's precise strike deed. Agnostic of whether level might become a source (we didn't say it was), the deed say it doubles the bonus, so it's a multiplier and would work regardless. Anyway, there is not some further scope that this FAQ is currently intended to reach. It's more that there's a discipline about reducing (or not increasing) bonus types that I didn't know about. Given the confusion with the sources explanation, we shall see if there might be a consensus that this time it's worth it.


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Source has always referred to the specific spell, feat, class/racial ability, not the some undefined broad category.

You start off admitting that there have been a small group that disagrees but then say your view is just how it has always been. A majority of people holding an incorrect view doesn't magically make that view correct. The FAQ just confirmed that the majority was wrong all along, at least with regards to PF, not that they were right and now it has changed.


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OldSkoolRPG wrote:
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Source has always referred to the specific spell, feat, class/racial ability, not the some undefined broad category.
You start off admitting that there have been a small group that disagrees but then say your view is just how it has always been. A majority of people holding an incorrect view doesn't magically make that view correct. The FAQ just confirmed that the majority was wrong all along, at least with regards to PF, not that they were right and now it has changed.

Unless, of course, the FAQ is wrong and the dev team unanimously held a logically faulty position. In which case the majority did happen to be correct and the FAQ is not only a change, but an incorrect change to boot. And I know someone is going to bring up, "How can the FAQ be wrong, it's the official source." To that, I reply, "Half-breeds vs Racial Heritage," as well as "Flurry of Blows with a single weapon."

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